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Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2007

Dejima downs Asa

Kyodo News

Former ozeki Dejima sentenced Mongolian yokozuna Asashoryu to a shock defeat at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo on Tuesday, ending the grand champion's 18-match winning streak in the process.

News photo
Top-ranked Maegashira Dejima forces down yokozuna Asashoryu to hand the Mongolian his first loss at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Tuesday at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan. KYODO PHOTO

Dejima (2-1) put Asashoryu on the defensive in the day's finale at Ryogoku Kokugikan, forcing the lone yokozuna into a crouch with a neck thrust and sending him to a first loss at the 15-day event with a powerful shove at the ring's edge.

Asashoryu dropped to 2-1, one win behind a group of four wrestlers including countryman Ama setting the early pace.

Despite the defeat Asashoryu is still the out-and-out favorite for his fourth straight championship.

Victory here for the 26-year-old will see him join an elite group of only four wrestlers so far in sumo history that have reached the milestone of 20 title victories.

Elsewhere, Kotooshu's title chances took another early hit with a second straight defeat as the Bulgarian was flipped over by fourth-ranked Homasho (1-2) on a day of contrasting fortunes in the ozeki ranks.

Kaio slumped to his first defeat after being shoved out by second-ranked maegashira Aminishiki (1-2) but Chiyotaikai, Hakuho and Tochiazuma all returned to winning ways.

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